NGA Unveils 2022 Creative Choice Award Winners

Industry expert Meg Major to host celebratory breakfast at trade show
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
Bridget Headshot
NGA Creative Choice Awards Main Image
Winners of the Creative Choice Awards will be honored at The NGA Show, which is set to take place Feb. 27-March 1 at the Caesars Forum Convention Center, in Las Vegas.

The National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, together with sponsoring partners Kellogg’s and Unilever, has named the winners of the annual Creative Choice Awards, which honors the best marketing and merchandising programs in the grocery industry. Winners will receive their awards at The NGA Show, which is set to take place Feb. 27-March 1 at the Caesars Forum Convention Center, in Las Vegas.

Judged by a panel of industry experts and trade press members, the contest consists of eight categories in which one winner and at least one honorable mention are selected. The judges chose category winners based on the creativity, clarity, innovation and effectiveness of each entry, as well as selecting two special recognition award winners. In all, NGA received 300-plus award submissions.

“After another year of challenges driven by the coronavirus pandemic, independent community grocers continued to demonstrate their creativity and ability to innovate,” noted Laura Strange, SVP of communications and external affairs at Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “Their uncanny ability to create campaigns and deliver messages that resonate with consumers shined brightly and impressed our judges yet again.”

From the category winners, the independent supermarket community and its supporters will choose one Outstanding Marketer and one Outstanding Merchandiser via online voting, open now through Feb. 23. Winners in the Outstanding Marketer and Outstanding Merchandiser categories will receive complimentary registration to the 2023 NGA Show.

Meanwhile, industry expert Meg Major will serve as emcee of the awards breakfast and moderator of the winners’ panel discussion at the 2022 NGA Show on March 1. Major, director of industry relations at NielsenIQ, was part of the editorial team at Progressive Grocer for almost two decades, where she spearheaded the Top Women in Grocery Awards, and joined Winsight Media in 2017 to help launch Winsight Grocery Business and led its grocery content group.

Award winners are as follows:

Connections Through Social Media

Smaller operator (1-15 stores): Harvest Market/Niemann Foods, Cooking with Emily

Larger operator (15-plus stores): Pioneer Supermarkets/Associated Supermarket Group, Be the Good Neighbor

Connections Through Digital Marketing or Mobile

Smaller operator (1-15 stores): Dorothy Lane Market, Self Care

Larger operator (15-plus stores): ARS Food Town, Three Ingredient Challenge

Traditional Media – TV, Radio and Print

Smaller operator (1-15 stores): Dorothy Lane Market, Difference Commercials

Larger operator (15-plus stores): Fresh Encounter, Nourish Your Mind

Grand Opening or Remodel

Smaller operator (1-15 stores): Trig’s Minocqua

Larger operator (15-plus stores): Coborn’s Buffalo

Local, Specialty or Emerging Products

Smaller operator (1-15 stores): LaBonne’s Market, Luke, I Am Your Fascia

Larger Operator (15-plus stores): Roche Bros., Football Food Fun

Community Engagement

Smaller operator (1-15 stores): Metcalfe’s, Social Bands

Larger operator (15-plus stores): Weis Markets, Honoring Our Veterans

Center Store/Frozen/GM/HBC

Smaller operator (1-15 stores): Chris Food Center, Stars of the Store Featuring March Frozen Food

Larger operator (15-plus stores): SpartanNash, Score Big

Fresh Departments

Smaller operator (1-15 stores): Metcalfe’s, Build Your Feast

Larger operator (15-plus stores): Lowes Market, Mealtime Made Easy

Special Recognition

Supermarket Superheroes Award, presented by Kellogg’s: Fresh Encounter Inc., Nourish Your Mind

Exceeding Excellence Award, presented by Unilever: SpartanNash, CHEERS! Beer & Wine Sale

SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, as well as fresh produce distribution and fresh food processing. No. 39 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company serves customer locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Djibouti. SpartanNash also operates 146 supermarkets and employs 19,000 associates. Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets, which operates 197 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia, is No. 60 on The PG 100, as well as one of PG’s Top 10 Regional Operators to Watch. A wholly owned subsidiary of Hickory, N.C.-based Alex Lee Inc., Lowes Foods LLC employs approximately 9,000 people and operates more than 80 full-service supermarkets in the Carolinas and is No. 65 on The PG 100. St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn's Inc., with nearly 9,300 employees and 59 grocery stores across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan, is No. 86 on PG’s list.

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